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Published November 12th 2019
It won't take you long to visit this park in Staffordshire
There may barely be enough room to swing a cat, but Prince's Park in Staffordshire has been designated as the smallest park in Britain. And the small patch of green space in Burntwood, near Lichfield, has now been given an outstanding Remembrance makeover with the creation of a poignant Armistice Day memorial. The Friends of Prince's Park, which is part of the local Burntwood Action Group, created the memorial display to coincide with this year's Armistice Day on the 11th of November. A group of ten people with a keen interest in Prince's Park have formed the Friends of Prince's Park group. And in partnership with Burntwood Action Group and Lichfield District Council, with support from a number of local businesses, the group has created a First World War memorial while also commencing work to refurbish the park.
Prince's Park was created to commemorate the marriage of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863. It featured in the Guinness Book of Records as 'Britain's smallest park' and includes three commemorative trees. The new Armistice Day memorial features the silhouettes of two life-sized soldiers either side of a refurbished bench, along with 1,000 poppies made from recycled plastic that cover the base of the park's three trees and are also dotted along the railings. The two soldier figures were made from donated plywood and timber and made by Barry Colbourne. Lichfield District Council's parks team removed, transported and refitted the cast iron bench so it could be fully refurbished by members of the Friends group. To complete the project, volunteers made 1,000 poppies out of old plastic bottles which they painted before being secured around the trees and along the railings.
The new Armistice Day memorial features the silhouettes of two First World War soldiers
Richard King, Director of Place & Community at Lichfield District Council, said: "This is a fantastic project showing what can be done when community members come together with a shared goal. The display is really moving and I am sure it is giving local people and visitors pause for thought during Remembrance." Burntwood Action Group chairman Vic Chamberlain commented: "We are delighted with the help we have had from local businesses and Lichfield District Council. Many people from the community have taken the time to contact us and let us know how proud they are of the work that has been done to transform our little park. Going forward we would like to continue to make the park a focal point and are seeking help to fund a metal flower bed trough, for which the district council has promised us a steady supply of seasonal plants to keep the UK's smallest park looking great."
A thousand poppies have been made of recycled plastic
The district council has produced a new sign for the park and is set to refurbish the iron railings, which will be completed once the weather improves. Burntwood Action Group is sharing information about the project as it progresses on its Facebook page, and has added a donation button so followers can donate to the Royal British Legion. So far more than £150 has been raised.